I may not have my AVP-18 set up properly but when I use DIRECT, I lose the subwoofer. With my Magnepan 1.7s DIRECT sounds a little thin without the sub. I have found that Auto EQ with a slight bass boost for the subwoofer, works the best for me.
Reading RickyDeg's thorough review and his previous comments on not getting the sound quality for music he desired through the AVP-18, I was confused why he was not getting the performance that I have gotten. Possibly using the AVP-18 DIRECT mode, he are now getting the clarity I was talking about in some of my posts.Here are a couple of thoughts why the sound was not up to expectations:
- I have noticed a significant fluctuation in the sound quality based on what is running in my home. If the washer/dryer is on or the fluorescent light in the nearby room is on, the sound deteriorates. I think the AVP could probably use a more beefed up power supply.
- With the inclusion of the Wireworld cables: Silver Starlight 7 Digital Coax, Electra 7 power cord on the amp, and Equinox 7 RCA cables, the sound has improved dramatically. I am hearing micro details that help separate the musicians on stage, allows the natural acoustic of the recording venue to be heard and clearly differentiates between different violins, guitars, etc. in various classical recordings.
- Then, I purchased new mono blocks on Audiogon and the entire soundstage collapsed, micro detail gone and was left with what sounded hifi but not real. Running the amps 12 hours a day is bringing back some of the naturalness but it has a long way to go. Even though these were used mono blocks and I assumed broken in, I still am in my third week of 12 hours of music daily going through the system.
Whether rightly justified or not, I have found the AVP-18 very sensitive to everything from A/C line power fluctuations and grunge, cables, new equipment inserted into the system, etc. When everything lines up, the sound is really fantastic and matches any DAC that I have heard in the $1K to $1.5K range. NuForce gets the most out of the least amount of circuitry of any manufacturer that I am aware.
I have gotten the quality of sound I described above using the AutoEQ, the Stereo with EQ and my own settings using EQ1 and adjusting the settings manually.